By Chika Izuora-Lagos
The Lagos state government has set out to build synergy with physically challenged persons in the state with the view to reducing vulnerability and promote alternative livelihood system.
The partnership, the government envisaged would provide relevant authorities with up-to-date information resources on disability and inclusive development issues which will also help build the capacity of local and national disability organisations, promote advocacy for people with disabilities and support the work of development partners.
Speaking at a one day workshop on ‘Climate Change and People With Disabilities’ organised by the Policy Advocacy Partnership on Climate Change (PAPCC) in Lagos yesterday, commissioner for environment Mr Tunji Bello said the collaboration has become imperative as people with disabilities are in best position to understand their own situations.
The commissioner who was represented by Mrs Collins Oluyomi, Assistant Chief Scientific Officer in the ministry said that while government has taken pro-active steps to reduce risks faced by them, they also should be part of efforts in proffering solutions to the problems they face.
Bello remarked that “persons with disabilities are typically among the most ‘ resource poor’ within a community,due to poor education, lack of income, social exclusion and limited access to decision-making authorities”.
According to him, the World Bank estimated that one billion people worldwide have a disability and that the vast majority of people with disabilities live in low and middle income countries.
Citing the report of the International Disability and Development Consortium, at least 200 million people including 18 million people with disabilities would be displaced by climate events by 2045 and that natural disasters. Would eventually result in more disabilities.
He commended the PAPCC for the workshop stressing that the theme ‘Climate Change and People With Disabilities; Awareness, Vulnerability, Adaptation” was ideal especially as the state government has instituted an Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) and has set machineries to ensure environmental sustainability in her developmental goals.The commissioner said that it is also anticipated that climate change will cause increasing hardship for persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
He said however that the government has demonstrated enough leadership and political will in tackling the scourge adding that what is remaining is citizenship and stakeholder collaboration in imbibing the much needed environmental consciousness necessary for mitigating and or adapting to the impacts of climate change.